India’s ‘Seed Warrior,’ Debal Deb, to Present at Sterling College on September 24

Debal Deb

Photograph: Jason Taylor/The Gaia Foundation

Rice is an important crop in India, where local, adaptable varieties have decreased significantly in the past 30 years, replaced by corporate hybrid seeds that don’t perform as well in a changing climate. Indian ecologist Debal Deb will visit Sterling College to offer a lecture highlighting his critical work with rice conservation and farmers in India called “Agroecology, Seed Sovereignty, and Farmer-to-Farmer Networks.” The free public talk is on Tuesday, September 24, at 6:30 p.m. in the 1958 Room at Sterling College.

Known as the “Seed Warrior,” Deb is the founder of Basudha, a rice conservation farm in India. He has created a massive seed bank that houses over 1200 varieties of heirloom rice that is indigenous to India. Basudha cultivates these varieties to produce seed crops. The seeds are then distributed to thousands of farmers all over India to cultivate and share themselves in their communities. Deb’s work is part of a global movement to promote agricultural biodiversity and resilience in a climate emergency. 

The event will be held in the 1958 Room in Simpson Hall, 1322 N. Craftsbury Rd, Craftsbury Common, Vt 05827. For more information, please call 802-586-7711.

About Debal Deb

Debal Deb is a biologist, with a doctorate in ecology from Calcutta University. He has conducted post­doctoral research in human ecology of estuarine resource use at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore  (1988), and in ecological economics at the University of California – Berkeley, as Ford Foundation Fellow (2001) and Fulbright Fellow (2009). Deb currently serves as guest faculty at the SIT, Jaipur (in ecological economics), B R Ambedkar University, New Delhi (in development studies), and is Professor of Eminence for agroecology at Centurion  University, Odisha. In 1997, Deb founded Vrihi (Sanskrit for ‘rice’), India’s largest open-source rice seed bank, conserving 1230 folk rice varieties, and a research farm Basudha to demonstrate ecological agriculture, ecoforestry, alternative energy use, and ecological architecture. His free­lance research in agroecology, crop genetic diversity, forest ecology, and ecological economics have been widely published in international journals, including Nature and Oikos. His latest book Beyond Developmentality: Constructing Inclusive Freedom and Sustainability (2009, Earthscan/ Routledge) contributes to development studies and ecological economics.

 


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